Nevada Delegation Opposes Discrimination with U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Brief

Affiliate: ACLU of Nevada
October 31, 2017 2:45 pm

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LAS VEGAS—Four members of Nevada’s congressional delegation on Monday signed onto an Amicus Brief in an American Civil Liberties Union case to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in December.

Representatives Dina Titus, Jacky Rosen, and Rueben Kihuen and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto joined dozens of members of Congress to explain to the U.S. Supreme Court that businesses are not free to discriminate against customers because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity or expression.

The case is Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Defenders of the cake shop claim the case is about the First Amendment, but It’s about businesses refusing customers and turning people away simply because of who they are or how the business perceives them.

Protecting people from discrimination is about treating others the way we want to be treated. A ruling allowing discrimination in this case would turn the Constitution’s promise of equal treatment under the law on its head. It would have implications far beyond LGBTQ people, and would put into jeopardy longstanding laws against discrimination across the country.

The Colorado law in question in this case is similar to Nevada’s robust public accommodations laws (NRS 651.070) that say businesses can’t pick and choose who they will serve based on a customer’s immutable characteristics, because that’s discrimination.

“ACLU of Nevada applauds the members of our congressional delegation who stood against discrimination and support equal access to public places. It is a shame that the Trump Administration, and even some politicians in our state, betray the U.S. Constitution by arguing businesses can discriminate against customers just because of who they are. In Nevada, we know that diversity and inclusion are good business practices, which is why attempts to institute policies that would allow discrimination under the guise of religion have failed in our state,” ACLU of Nevada Executive Director Tod Story said.

The case is scheduled for oral arguments Dec. 5.

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